The Flank, along with other major watch-party style talk shows that cover the CDL, will not be allowed to broadcast gameplay from the league, even after the matches have concluded, according to Tommy “ZooMaa” Paparatto.
The Call of Duty League is moving back to YouTube as its exclusive broadcaster for 2024, after a year back on Twitch that saw viewership numbers soar. As a result, it appears that several streamers won’t be getting rights to watch-party the games, and Majors and have been limited in the exact kind of content they can produce about the league.
The YouTube exclusivity deal is being taken seriously by the league. ZooMaa claims that they could gain access to the games again, but they have to move to YouTube as a platform in order to do so. The email they received is less about the league despising the concept or vibe of the show itself and more about protecting its business partner.
In the past, The Flank was a popular call-in style show, where professional players would sometimes join to debate tactics or give their side of a drama-filled story. It is, for better or for worse, exactly like what you imagine a mass call of professional Call of Duty players would sound like, only with a moderate amount of guided conversation.
If the future of The Flank is on YouTube, it could see a substantial downsize in the fanbase. Data from Esports Charts shows a clear trend: when CoD esports is on Twitch, the numbers go up. There are simply too many users who aren’t willing to switch platforms to watch an esport, even if it’s as simple as typing out a different URL. If the future of The Flank stays on Twitch, it’s clear that its legs will be cut out from under it. Without a visual element to refer the viewer to, breaking down gameplay becomes the equivalent of trying to explain a meme with words.